Feb. 23, 2008
The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team got down by 20 to visiting Northern Colorado on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23) before rallying to within seven with less than four minutes to play. At that point, however, the Bears pulled away for a 71-56 Big Sky Conference win.
Nicole Scott blocked five shots for the second straight game, tying her personal career high and an Eagle season high. Three Eastern players had double-digit point totals today: Tatjana Sparavalo (18), Benson (13) and Scott (13). Benson had a double-double, as she also contributed 10 points to Eastern's cause. Jessica Huntington tallied six assists in the contest, while Sparavalo had five.
Kyla Evans was able to return to game action for the first time since a Jan. 3 contest at Northern Arizona. She had suffered a stress reaction in her left foot and had been unable to play until she saw 16 minutes of floor time today. Evans nailed a three-point shot with 12:35 to go to score her first points since returning.
"She's nowhere close to game speed or game form, but she worked hard to get back," head coach Wendy Schuller said. "I actually played her more minutes than I had anticipated. You can tell she is a step slow, she played hard for us."
After the Eagles got off to a hot 8-2 start in the contest, Northern Colorado responded with a 20-5 run to go up 22-13 with 8:12 to play in the first half.
"You can't have droughts like that and expect to win a lot of games," Schuller said. "That is just discouraging. I thought we did some things well (before that drought) and then everything just snowballed. They started hitting threes and we started dropping our heads. We have to get to the point where we can withstand those things."
The Bears (12-13, 6-6 BSC) would extend their lead to 20 points four minutes into the second half, 45-25 and 47-27. After UNC's lead fluctuated from 14-20 points, Eastern Washington (4-22, 1-12 BSC) cut into a 60-41 deficit with 8:13 to go with a 14-2 run, capped off by an old-fashioned three-point play by Sydney Benson with 3:38 to go. That made the score 62-55 but would, however, be the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the way.
Eastern Washington was hurt in the first half today by its shooting in the paint, which was just 3-of-13 (including 0-of-2 on lay-ups).
"We should be 9-for-13 in the paint, if not 13-for-13; 3-of-13 is just brutal," Schuller said. "The way we play is we do try to get the ball inside, and those kids have to be able to finish in there for sure."
The Eagles did, however, respond at the half and play much better inside in the second stanza, making 9-of-15 in the paint, including all seven lay-up attempts.
Eastern will next hit the hardwood at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday (March 1) versus Portland State. The Vikings (19-7) are in the thick of the race for the Big Sky's regular-season title, as their 9-4 conference record places the team in third place behind Idaho State (9-3) and Montana (10-2).